Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Writing On The Wall

“It is also a warning. It is a warning that, if nobody reads the writing on the wall, man will be reduced to the state of the beast, whom he is shaming by his manners.” - Mahatma Gandhi

There have been many a man try to interpret what the writing on the wall means.  In biblical times Daniel was summoned to interpret the writing that was left upon the palace walls warning of the end of times for the current rule. 

The Troops on the War Path!
Now days, we have many signs of the ancients who have left writings for us, but we are alas left with no one like Daniel to interpret them for us.  Many archaeologists speculate and attempt to decipher them and put meaning to them, but we may never know what was intended by the works creator.

Living in the Four Corners region there is a rich history and heritage of the Native American people here.  This heritage is present in our everyday lives and is seen during many of the recreational pursuits we now enjoy. 
Many times in canyons while rigging ropes at drops we see steps that have been carved into the sides of the canyon walls leading down into the abyss.  We can only assume that maybe the ancients once sought shelter there or looked for water from the numerous pot holes that lie in the slot canyons.
Negotiating some light rolling slick rock areas.

On this year’s Presidential Holiday we gathered the troops together and headed out to see one of those places where the writing was left for us to interpret to our own devices.  We headed out to the famous Processional Panel.  After a short drive on pavement we turned off onto the dusty county road.  At this time of year it generally is a hit or miss as to the pass ability on these lone roads, but the lack of snow in this region this year has left the roads dry and usable.  We were all alone most of the 15 mile drive only passing one vehicle parked and one that came into our pathway a few miles out.  This area is quite a popular spot for many travelers and explorers.  Most of the little side roads lead to some sort of ruin or panel site and is always a treat for those interested in diving into history. 
Our 6 year old trying to give her interpretation.

For us, mostly me and my 12 year old daughter, this excursion was a quest.  We once attempted to find the Processional Panel with only the parking location given to us then.  We started our hike and ended up in the wrong drainage and peering down the side of a 300 ft. drop.  We vowed that we would once again hunt down this elusive site.

This time armed with some good directions from our own Ruin Guide Aaron, we headed out with the full force of the troops pushing us along.  Aaron’s directions were spot on and we were able to locate the place with minimal ease this time around.  The hike up was fantastic and our 6 year old daughter had a great time with only a few minor spots that she needed some help with.  The hike took us just over an hour and could have easily been quicker without frequent water breaks going both in and out.

The 9 year old protecting the panel in a fierce warrior pose.
After sitting and being mesmerized over the petroglyphs for a little while we headed back to the vehicle at a much quicker pace than going up was.  This left us time for me to show them one panel that is just off the roadway and a quick 15 min walk from the car.

The Wolfman panel was always a favorite of mine when I once patrolled the area.  I could get out and stretch my legs for a half hour and see some really cool petroglyphs.  The area has since been blocked off a little bit to vehicle traffic adding about an additional 10 min of walking to it, but the hike in and out is not very difficult at all.  All the kids enjoyed that day and no one had any complaints of the explorations and adventure that was had.
Wolfman Panel